The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 22, 2013

Coal City Elementary students rock out and get fit

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

—  Students at Coal City Elementary are getting fit and rocking out with ripstix by combining music and gym classes.

In this inventive new routine inspired by the Hollywood fitness craze Pound, students use weighted sticks to pound out rhythms while they stretch, squat and move to the music alongside music teacher Wendy Keeney and P.E. teacher Deidra Pate.

Keeney said she was saw the new workout on television and immediately texted Pate.

“I showed her the videos and told her we could totally do this,” she said.

But researching the weighted drumsticks, called ripstix, revealed they cost around $30 per pair.

So the two teachers got creative and spent a day making 60 pairs of their own with PVC pipe filled with sand.

They made all 60 for the cost of one pair online.

“A few weeks ago I got some music picked out and we came up with a couple of routines. It is a great thing for us to do on a two-hour delay because our classes are a lot shorter,” she said.

But if it looks like this workout is easy, don’t let the fun fool you.

Keeney said some parents who workout with P90X did ripstix routines with the kids for 10 minutes and were sore the next day.

“The kids love it. They get their workout but they don’t realize it because we are pounding to the beat and it teaches musical form because we have different movements for each sections of the music,” she said.

The students haven’t been doing the routines very long, but they already seem comfortable with the moves and music. Several of them were working out their vocal cords along with their muscles Thursday.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com